Major Companies to Invest in Workers, Charity After Tax Reform Passage

Dennis Muilenburg

Dennis Muilenburg CEO of The Boeing Company arrives at Trump Tower in New York City

Both the House and Senate passed the final version of the Republican tax bill on Wednesday, and a number of companies took the opportunity to announce special bonuses or pay hikes.

AT&T, the No. 2 US wireless carrier, said it will pay $1,000 bonuses to more than 200,000 employees and invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018, once the tax reform bill is signed into law. The Dallas-based carrier will also pay a $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 US -based employees who are union-represented, non-management, and front-line managers.

Fifth Third Bancorp: It will raise wages to $15 an hour for hourly workers, and it will give a $1,000 bonus to 13,500 workers.

The companies' announcements gave at least some support to claims by Trump and fellow Republicans that their tax bill would lead to more investment by USA companies with the money they save. "Good news for workers and the economy!" Congressional Republicans who shepherded the bill to passage might be wondering where those types of pledges were before they voted on a remarkably unpopular package.

Banks are also announcing plans to benefit their employees with the passage of tax reform. "So all of a sudden they're advertising this as something they did because of the tax bill". Boeing relies on government contracts for much of its business, while AT&T has been seeking to acquire Time Warner, at times arguing with the Trump administration over antitrust issues. Let's count the ways.

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The hunt for corporate motivations should not obscure the clear evidence that positive effects are springing from the tax bill.

The process through which the bill was crafted and passed showed it primarily is meant to benefit large companies, executives and investors.

The bill indisputably helps corporations.

"They made a big announcement that they were going to give a bonus to their workers, to kind of pin a rose on this tax bill", Pelosi said.

Here is a round up, so far, of companies that are celebrating the tax cuts by enriching their employees. I reached out to a few of Central Indiana's largest public companies to ask how they meant to use their tax-cut savings. The $1.5 trillion tax cut permanently reduces the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

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"It has not even been 24 hours, and workers at some of the companies that we all use on a daily basis are benefiting", Earhardt said.

No one offered specific details.

"Congress, working closely with the president, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by USA businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world", said Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T. The Justice Department is suing to block the $85 billion merger, which Trump said in November was "not good for the country". But it does mean AT&T's bonuses aren't necessarily valuable data points for evaluating the tax overhaul.

The telecom giants have said that tax reform, coupled with the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of the Net Neutrality regulations last week, will make room for additional investments on employees, as well as network infrastructure and next-generation technologies, such as 5G. The average person will save a few bucks, but it won't be lifestyle-altering.

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